Welcome to Salar Grande
Welcome to Salar Grande, Chile... This is where my team and I spent the last 4 days collecting samples of extremophiles that live inside salt nodules in some of the driest conditions on Earth...(you can see them in the first image). The Atacama is absolutely stunning...Vultures kept us company during the whole 4 days, apparently very interested by what we were doing. They were also nesting and we kept our distance. So, here we go....Enjoy these views. The first one is our main sampling location; the second is yours truly looking for halite crystals with inclusions (to extract organic and other materials); the third shows a close-up of one of these salt crystals; the fourth is our camp at Salar Grande, with the main two domes and the tents (the small orange ones are personal tents; the big orange one is the lab; the blue one is the kitchen; the white dome is the dinning/working room) and everywhere around is our playground! Finally, the last one show the fantastic landscape shrouded in mystery as the fog moves in late afternoon...More to come! All photos credit: Victor Robles Bravo, Campoalto/SETI Institute.
Nathalie Cabrol is the Director of the Carl Sagan Center at the SETI Institute
Read her previous post here